This Module explores how the practice of journalism has been defined and protected by international and regional law and bodies, from the rejection of licensing to the protection of journalistic sources, and including self-regulation. Many of the readings also address the impact of the digital revolution on journalism and present the conflicts on such questions as to who is a journalist.

10 items found, showing 1 - 10


Author: OSCE
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“Artificial intelligence (AI) – a broad concept used in policy discussions to refer to many different types of technology – greatly influences and impacts the way people seek, receive, impart and access information and how they exercise their right to freedom of expression in the digital ecosystem. If implemented responsibly, AI can benefit societies, but there is a genuine risk that its deployment by States and private companies, such as internet intermediaries, could have a deteriorating effect on human rights… [This Paper] maps the key challenges to freedom of expression presented by AI across the OSCE region, in light of international and regional standards on human rights and AI. It identifies a number of overarching problems that AI poses to freedom of expression and human rights in general, in particular: (a.) The limited understanding of the implications for freedom of expression caused by AI, in particular machine learning; (b.) Lack of respect for freedom of expression in content moderation and curation; (c.) State and non-State actors circumventing due process and rule of law in AI-powered content moderation; (d.) Lack of transparency regarding the entire process of AI design, deployment and implementation; (e.) Lack of accountability and independent oversight over AI systems; and, (f.) Lack of effective remedies for violation of the right to freedom of expression in relation to AI. This Paper observes that these problems became more pronounced in the first months of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic incentivized States and the private sector to use AI even more, as part of measures introduced in response to the pandemic. A tendency to revert to technocratic solutions, including AI-powered tools, without adequate societal debate or democratic scrutiny was witnessed. Using four specific case studies (“security threats”; “hate speech”; media pluralism and diversity online; and the impact of AI-powered State surveillance on freedom of expression), this Paper shows how these problems manifest themselves. This Paper concludes that there is a need to further raise awareness, and improve understanding, of the impact of AI related to decision-making policies and practices on freedom of expression, next to having a more systematic overview of regional approaches and methodologies in the OSCE region. It provides a number of preliminary recommendations to OSCE participating States and internet intermediaries, to help ensure that freedom of expression and information are better protected when AI is deployed.”

OSCE. “Artificial Intelligence and Freedom of Expression”. 2020.

Author: Stephen Martin Kohn
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The chapter on Legal Principles in Whistleblower Laws provides the basic legal principles surrounding protection of whistleblowers in USA.

Stephen M. Kohn. Concepts and Procedures in Whistleblower Law. Westport, CT: Quorum Books, 2001.

Author: Rosario Soraide
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This report is the result of in-depth research and the conclusions from 20 interviews with professionals with expertise in media freedom, artistic freedom, and the defense of human rights advocates and artists. It compares the safeguards and procedures in place to defend the legal rights of journalists and artists in urgent situations. The study's overarching objective is to promote collaborations between groups that support the safety of artists and journalists. While highlighting ways in which cooperation could be advantageous to both the advocacy communities focused, respectively, on artistic and media freedom, it suggests concrete action to expand protection for artists' safety in crises, learning from the advanced movement for the protection of journalists. 

Rosario Soraide. 'Defending creative voices: artists in emergencies, learning from the safety of journalists'. 2023.

Author: Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Dirk Voorhoof
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In this segment of the MOOC 'Freedom of Expression in the Age of Globalizationcreated by Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Dirk Voorhoff illustrates by referring to some judgments how the European Court have succeeded to protect whistleblowers, to protect investigative journalists, to protect sources of journalists, also in areas which are normally considered very sensitive and very difficult to create transparency.

Author: UN, OSCE, OAS and ACHPR Special Rapporteurs for Freedom of Expression
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"This Joint Declaration addresses systematic or targeted attacks on freedom of expression which are aimed at silencing certain perspectives or voices, whether internationally, nationally or locally, and State responses to such attacks. Such attacks are perpetrated in different contexts, including of international and non-international armed conflicts, terrorist attacks and widespread organized crime."

UN, OSCE, OAS and ACHPR Special Rapporteurs for Freedom of Expression. Joint Declaration on Freedom of Expression and Responses to Conflict Situations, May 4, 2015.

Author: UN and OAS Special Rapporteurs for Freedom of Expression
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"In light of ongoing developments related to the release of diplomatic cables by the organization Wikileaks, and the publication of information contained in those cables by mainstream news organizations, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression see fit to recall a number of international legal principles. The rapporteurs call upon States and other relevant actors to keep these principles in mind when responding to the aforementioned developments."

UN and OAS Special Rapporteurs for Freedom of Expression, Joint Statement On WikiLeaksJune 21, 2010.

Author: UNESCO, Cherilyn Ireton and Julie Posetti (eds)
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“UNESCO works to strengthen journalism education, and this publication is one of the offerings in a line of cutting-edge knowledge resources. It is part of the “Global Initiative for Excellence in Journalism Education”, which is a focus of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). The Initiative seeks to engage with teaching, practicing and researching of journalism from a global perspective, including sharing international good practices. Accordingly, the current handbook seeks to serve as an internationally-relevant model curriculum, open to adoption or adaptation, which responds to the emerging global problem of disinformation that confronts societies in general, and journalism in particular. This handbook is designed to give journalism educators and trainers, along with students of journalism, a framework and lessons to help navigate the issues associated with ‘fake news’. [It is also hoped] that it will be a useful guide for practicing journalists. It draws together the input of leading international journalism educators, researchers and thinkers who are helping to update journalism method and practice to deal with the challenges of misinformation and disinformation. The lessons are contextual, theoretical and in the case of online verification, extremely practical. Used together as a course, or independently, they can help refresh existing teaching modules or create new offerings. Overall, this publication should help societies become more informed about the range of societal responses to disinformation problems, including those by governments, international organisations, human rights defenders, Internet companies, and proponents of media and information literacy. It particularly highlights what can be done by journalists themselves and by the people who educate and train them. [Ultimately, it is hoped that the] handbook can help to reinforce the essential contribution that journalism can make to society – and also to the Sustainable Development Goals’ ambition of “public access to information and fundamental freedoms”.”

UNESCO, Cherilyn Ireton and Julie Posetti (eds). “Journalism, ‘Fake News’ & Disinformation: Handbook for Journalism Education and Training”. 2018.

Author: Centre for Human Rights at University of Pretoria, Pansy Tlakula
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In this segment of the MOOC 'International and African Legal Framework on Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and the Safety of Journalists' developed by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria with the support of UNESCO, Pansy Tlakula explains standards on protections of sources and whistleblowers.

This segment is part of Module 3 of the MOOC: The safety of journalists and the issue of impunity.

Promoting dialogue between the European Court of Human Rights and the media freedom community

Author: European Centre for Press and Media Freedom
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"The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom with the support of Council of the Europe (CoE) organised the conference “Promoting dialogue between the European Court of Human Rights and the media freedom community. Freedom of expression and the role and case law of the European Court of Human Rights: developments and challenges”. The three key themes of this conference were: (1) defamation, privacy and the processing of personal data, (2) investigative journalism in relation to newsgathering, access to official documents and the importance of the protection of sources and whistleblowers, as well as (3) the right to protest and the role of the media during protests. The conference resulted in fruitful discussions of the ECtHR’s recent case law relating to freedom of expression, media and journalism. The keynote speakers, the moderators, the speakers and participants played a crucial role on the productive dialogue between judges and civil society. These discussions have been collected and presented in this conference e-book in form of conclusions. In addition, unedited speeches and presentations of the speakers are incorporated in this publication. The conference was broadcast live and video links to all speakers’ presentations are included as well. Lastly, a summary of social media coverage is also integrated."

European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), Promoting dialogue between the European Court of Human Rights and the media freedom community, Conference e-book, 2017.

Author: Dominika Bychawska-Siniarska
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This is a a handbook for legal practitioners on protecting the right to freedom of erxpression under the European Convention on Human Rights. The chapters  are: 1: General consideration on Article 10; 2: Duties under Article 10; 3 Unprotected speech-hate, speech, incitement to violence; 4: The system of restrictions within the exercise of the right to freedom of expression; 5: Limitations due to "public" reasons; 6: Freedom of expression and reputation; 7: Rights of others; 8: Freedom of expression and the media; 9: Freedom of expression and new technologies.

Dominika Bychawska-Siniarska Bychawska-Siniarska Protecting the Right to Freedom of Expression under the European Convention on Human Rights: a handbook for legal practitioners (Strasbourg, Council of Europe Publishing, 2017).